“What get’s measured get’s managed”
Anytime that you want to improve something or get growth you have to know where you are to start with. Once you have a baseline established you can create hypothesis’s about what will take you in the direction you want to move in and then you can test those hypothesis and measure the results against the baseline or Control to put it into Marketing speak.
My first real encounter with Testing and Optimising was several years ago in my first successful business.
The business was a property investment company, we where marketing direct to the homeowners in the area’s we wanted to buy in cutting out estate agents and buying them cheap around 60% – 80% of the market value as a result.
To do this we needed to find people that where motivated to sell their houses fast. One of the best ways of doing this was leaflet drops in the area’s we wanted to buy in.
So being in charge of marketing (through lack of a better option) I was tasked with designing a leaflet, this wasn’t too hard I didn’t know any better at the time so I just copied the competitions and changed the relevant parts. (This was a technical as my marketing skills got back then!)
During this time we where mailing about 10,000 leaflets per week but the most interesting thing was as I got more proficient at marketing I learnt how simple changes on the sales copy of the leaflet generated more phone calls.
I remember clearly getting an uplift in calls of about 10% by changing one simple innocuous part… Who the leaflet said to call.
At the bottom of the leaflet the call to action was “Call Darren for a confidential chat” When I changed the name to a woman’s (my Business partner) we got 10% more calls!
This seemingly insignificant change fascinated me and started a passion for testing and optimising and from there I started to investigate how to write Sales Copy and use Persuasion in my marketing efforts and gradually, progress would be made.
You are probably already tracking parts of your Business but i’m confident that you could implement some other stats tracking so you are more aware of where you are on a day to day basis. Then you can start testing.
Some things to track relevant to your sales and marketing are…
Phone calls – How many people call you per day asking about your service or product. If you really want to get clever you will want to know where these calls come from, if it was an advert which one? offline it is harder to find this out but a simple way to do so is to have multiple phone numbers and use different ones in different versions of your ads. Or keeping it simpler but less accurate you could just include a code in the corer of the ad and ask the calling customer for the code of the ad.
Visitors to your website – Including where they come from, this is easy to do on the internet with the masses of different analytics software available. If you don’t have analytics installed you can do a lot worse than just installing Google Analytics on your site which isn’t difficult and will give you more information than you know what to do with. Simply go to http://www.google.com/analytics/ and follow the instructions and get your web guy to install the code.
Conversions – How many people buy or more specifically how many phone calls or website visitors turn into sales. You can include more steps to this part if you have a multi step sales process where the first step on your sales process is to get people to opt in to receive a brochure/guide/book/lite version. Something along the lines of Visitors > Opt In’s > Sales.
I could go on and on about what you can track however, I am going to be doing a separate post on KPI’s or Key Performance Indicators that you might want to consider monitoring soon so keep an eye out!
Once you have started tracking all of this information you can start hypothesising and testing to see if you can improve the numbers… and this my friends is where all the fun starts!
One the internet the options for tracking are infinite I have seen case studies where people have had a significant uplift in conversions by changing the minutest of details on there website. To start with though focus on Calls To Action, Sales Copy, Testimonials and making the sales journey for the customer as frictionless and effortless as possible. This should get you some good traction to start with.